CofC picks up 30th win

College of Charleston picked up its 30th win of the season behind another productive night offensively and a shutdown performance by junior ace Taylor Clarke, downing Furman, 9-2, in the first of a three-game series on Friday night at Patriots Point.

Game two of the series has been moved up four hours from its originally scheduled time due to forecasted weather conditions. First pitch is now scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Cougars (30-9), clad in turn-of-the-century style throwback uniforms, achieved double-digit hits for the eighth consecutive game and 14th time in 15 tries.

Clarke (9-1), who was just included on the College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year watch list, went 7.0 innings and allowed just one run on three hits, while putting nine down on strikes without issuing a walk. Aided by catcher Erven Roper ousting two stolen base attempts, Clarke faced the minimum through four innings.

Roper was a bright spot both offensively and defensively, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs at the plate, and gunning down the only two runners who attempted to steal on him in the game.

Morgan Phillips homered off the batter’s eye in straight-away center to plate the game’s first run, and the Cougars also got RBIs out of Champ Rowland, Bradley Jones and Carl Wise.

Phillips jumped the yard for the sixth time this year with a 1-2 count in the second inning to put the Cougars up early.

The Cougars blew the game open in the third, plating five runs on three hits and punishing the Paladins for an error and two walks. A walk to Ryan Brown and fielding error on a potential double-play ball benefitted the Cougars two runners with no outs, and Wise forced a single through the left side of the infield to score Brown. An infield single by Blake Butler loaded the bases, and Bradley Jones drew a two-out RBI walk to plate a run. Roper cleared the bases with a two-out, opposite-field double into the corner in left, driving CofC’s lead to 6-0.

The Paladins plated their first run in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a one-out double from Jordan Simpson with an RBI single to left by Sky Overton. Brown tracked the ball down in the corner and threw Overton out at second base to end the inning.

Jones led off the seventh with a walk, and a Roper single put runners on the corners with no outs. Rowland executed a squeeze bunt to perfection, splitting the pitcher and first baseman for an RBI bunt single and a 7-1 Cougar lead.

The Cougars added a run in the seventh with a double by Nick Pappas and RBI single by Roper, and another in the eight when Alex Pastorius was hit by a pitch and came around to score on three wild pitches.

The Paladins plated a run in the ninth on a hit and a walk, but never threatened as Will Detwiler preserved the win over his 2.0-inning appearance.

“We played well tonight,” said head coach Monte Lee. “We pitched extremely well tonight; Clarke was outstanding again and Detwiler was strong out of the bullpen. Offensively, we took advantage of some walks and some of their miscues, and we found a way to step up with big-time, two-out hits. We were good in two-out situations with runners in scoring position, but I think we needed to do a better job of executing with less than two outs and runners on third. We found a way to score nine runs, we got great pitching, and we won game one.”

Junior left-hander Jack Wynkoop pitched 8.1 scoreless innings and allowed just seven hits as South Carolina shut out Tennessee on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Gamecocks improved to 26-17 and 9-10 in the SEC with Tennessee dropping to 16-21 and 5-14 in league play.

Wynkoop was masterful as he limited the Volunteers to just seven hits and one walk while striking out five batters to earn the win and improve to 6-4 on the year. Tennessee starter Andy Cox suffered the loss and is 1-3 on the year. He allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits in 5.2 innings with five walks and six strikeouts.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Gene Cone led off the game with a bunt for a base hit, advanced to third base on DC Arendas’ single to right field and scored on Max Schrock’s sacrifice fly to right-center.

The Gamecocks increased the lead to 3-0 in the second inning taking advantage of a Tennessee miscue to score a pair of runs. Connor Bright reached base with two outs on UT shortstop A.J. Simcox’s throwing error. Logan Koch then followed with a two-run homer to right-center, his second home run of the season.

Carolina would tack on a run in the top of the seventh loading the bases with one out with Elliott Caldwell driving in Arendas with a RBI single to right field.

Gamecock senior right-hander Cody Mincey retired the final two outs to seal the victory for Carolina.

VMI 8, Citadel 7

VMI built an early 6-0 lead but needed single runs in the sixth and eighth to post an 8-7 win over The Citadel in the opener of a Southern Conference series on Friday at Riley Park.

The teams play the middle game on Saturday at 11 a.m., a change from the original 2 p.m. first pitch due to the threat of afternoon rain in the area.

The Bulldogs (18-22, 3-10 SoCon) scored a run in the third and five in the fourth to wipe out their early deficit. Trailing 6-1 in the fourth, Johnathan Stokes drew a bases-loaded walk, a second run scored on a wild pitch and Connor Walsh pulled The Citadel within 6-5 on a two-run single up the middle.

The tying run scored when Ryan Kilgallen drew a walk with the bases full before Jack Gomersall was able to induce William Kinney to ground into an inning-ending double play.

It stayed tied at until the sixth when David Geary doubled and scored on a single by Matt Winn. VMI (13-22, 6-7) added an important insurance run in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Tyler Tharp, who led the Keydets’ 14-hit attack with three singles and three RBIs.

VMI closer Taylor Edens allowed an unearned run in the eighth on an error and Stokes’ RBI single before getting the final two outs of the inning and wrapping up his 10th save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth. Kyle Staats and TJ Lighton both worked a perfect inning to get the game to Edens.

Gomersall went two innings of one-hit shutout relief and was credited with the win. Zach Lavery allowed the tiebreaking run in the sixth and was charged with the loss. Bulldog starter James Reeves had a rare off night, allowing seven hits and six runs before departing after four.

The Keydets parlayed three hits and three hit batters into four runs their first time at bat, with Tharp providing the big hit of the frame with a two-run single. Brandon Angus singled in a pair of runs in the third that built the VMI cushion to six.

The Bulldogs totaled 10 hits against five VMI pitchers, with Jacob Watcher leading the way with a season-high three hits while scoring two runs.

Winthrop’s Sam Kmiec pitched eight strong innings and Charleston Southern allowed four unearned runs as the Eagles took the series opener, 9-2, Friday night at CSU Ballpark.

Kmeic (W, 5-4) held the Bucs to two earned runs, keeping CSU off-balance at the plate. He had 10 strikeouts and scattered nine hits.

CSU (20-20, 9-7 Big South) gave up four unearned runs in the fifth inning. Winthrop capitalized, taking a 5-0 lead. Throwing errors by CSU shortstop Cole Murphy and third baseman Nate Blanchard aided the Eagles’ cause.

CSU starter Andrew Tomasovich (L, 6-4) worked six innings and gave up five runs, but only one earned. He allowed five hits and struck out three.

The Eagles took advantage of the Bucs’ errors in the fifth and added insurance runs in late to distance themselves from the Bucs. They took a 1-0 lead in the second when Mark Lowrie lined a solo home run to left off of Bucs’ starter Andrew Tomasovich.

Winthrop (30-14, 8-8) added two runs in the ninth on a two-run single by Roger Gonzalez.

Lowrie went 3-for-5 and Anthony Paulsen added a 2-for-4 night with a double and an RBI.

CSU’s Brian Dye doubled and scored as the Bucs pushed across two runs in the sixth. Chris Singleton had an RBI single in the inning and scored on a Cole Murphy RBI groundout.

Kevin Hickey joined Dye and Singleton, each with two hits for CSU.

Saturday’s first pitch, originally scheduled for 4 p.m., has been moved to 11 a.m. at CSU Ballpark.

Thomas Smith’s two-run single with one out in the eighth inning gave Georgia Tech the lead for good in its 4-2 victory over Clemson at Russ Chandler Stadium on Friday night.

The Yellow Jackets, who took a 1-0 lead in the series, improved to 25-16 overall and 10-12 in the ACC. The Tigers dropped to 22-20 overall and 11-10 in ACC play.

Zac Ryan (6-1) earned the win, while Taylor Vetzel (1-3) suffered the loss. Tiger starter Matthew Crownover allowed just five hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks with a career-high-tying nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched as well.

An error by the catcher after Glenn Batson’s flyball in the second inning allowed Chris Okey to score the first run, then Andrew Cox lined a single to score Batson in the top of the fifth inning. Matt Gonzalez laced a two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut Clemson’s lead in half. Gonzalez then reached on an error to lead off the eighth inning and scored on Smith’s two-run single off the glove of Andrew Cox at first base. Ryan Peurifoy added a two-out, run-scoring single.

Due to inclement weather in the forecast for Saturday afternoon, the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech game scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium has been moved to a 6 p.m. start.